How To Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
There are several ways in which you can build a brand reputation of authority online amidst changes in marketing methods. The term influencer has become widely used and doesn’t convey what your brand is truly about. To be truly effective, you should look instead to becoming a thought leader in your industry. And you do this by demonstrating your knowledge through remarkable content, publishing, and personal interactions on your social networks.
When you consistently focus on these initial steps, you will begin to move closer to your goal. The keys to success is to start with a plan that will work best for your business model. And always to be authentic in your approach.
These are the typical steps that I follow when working with a new client who is initially setting up their brand image:
- Create a professional website that includes a blog and updates on any books, news articles, videos, etc.
- Regular content posted to places like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube
- Interaction in social media groups
- Focused and relevant content to help build an active and engaged audience who is truly interested in what the brand topic is about
- Use the right hashtags in order to attract targeted followers on social media, including industry contacts.
- Cross promote blog posts and/or videos to both email and social media
- Re-purposing content into videos
- Live video streaming, which can lead up to a podcast later on
- Regular email updates to subscribers
- A clear call-to-action on blog posts and videos
- Active and involved communication with Fans and followers
- Paid advertisements on social media
How To Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader In Your Niche
In order to establish yourself as a thought leader with a trusted brand image, you need to engage with specific niche communities. And you also need to share some of their content. Here’s how you can boost your online influence and move toward thought leadership if that is your goal:
1 – Articles Highlighting Your Book/Product/Service
Your blog is the main hub to share your expert knowledge on a regular basis. As you build content over time, you can attract news media outlets and guest blogging opportunities. This will help improve your subscriber rate as well and help move your website up the rank up on Google as you include helpful information that can be featured in their snippets section. As your content is shared on social media, audience reactions will have an impact on your visibility through social signals.
2 – Publish a Book or Video Series
A book and/or video channel is your calling card to brand recognition and establishing authority in your niche. And you can pull information right from your existing blog posts or from ideas you have already gathered for an upcoming publication. Becoming an author or establishing a podcast will help establish an interested audience within your niche. You can leverage live video to spark an interest and build this strategy into your overall digital marketing plan.
You may also want to read: How To Effectively Market Your Business Book
3 – Attend Online Events and Conferences
You can create the opportunity to be invited to a speaking event. This used to mean television or radio interviews. However, it is now more likely to be via a Podcast.
Whichever medium you use, speaking is a good way to boost your authority and connect with your community on a personal level. The more people you meet at these places the more doors that can be opened for you to become a key speaker or presenter.
4 – YouTube Is Still The Premier Network for Video
Clutch and Smart Insights report that YouTube is in the top three most effective social networks for brands today. You can build your visibility here by sharing the videos you already have on a branded channel. While an occasional live event is good in attracting a larger audience quickly it is equally important to put together something that is professional with the help of an outside source. This is especially important to do if you have an upcoming book, product launch or speaking event.
You may also want to read: 8 Tools for Creating Engaging YouTube Videos
5 – Join Targeted Groups on Social Media
It’s important to be making new connections daily and one way to accomplish this is through specific niche groups that have a active and engaged members. The key is to be both helpful and supportive by answering questions, feedback on discussions, and sharing valuable information that applies to the group. As you demonstrate your authority by your answers others will soon want to connect with you. The best places to start are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and in specific Twitter Chats. Remember it’s all about building relationships, and not sales.
6 – Get Busy on Mobile Platforms
Mobile marketing has become a large part of reaching an audience on social media. Places like Instagram and Snapchat allow you to show a behind the scenes look and post content that your audience can relate to. Live videos and stories are becoming increasingly popular. Through these, your followers get to track your journey and interact with you.
7 – Don’t Completely Leave Out Advertising
Organic reach has dropped significantly over the last few years. So, you should set aside a budget that allows you to fill in the gaps and reach people through targeted ads. The key to success is to target a narrow audience with specific keywords on a particular topic with eye-catching headlines and graphics that let your audience know right away what your ad is about.
You may also want to read: Facebook Advertising Has Got Better And Easier
Becoming a thought leader begins with careful research. You must then reach out to your community in a way that shows you not only care about what they are interested in, but have the answers to their problems. Always keep the end goal in mind whether this is to become an author, speaker, full-time blogger, or successful eCommerce business. This will enable you to better focus on what you want your audience will look like and which leaders in your industry are best to connect with.
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